Tag: digital agency

Social Media

MySpace’s Decline into Facebook’s Uprising

Move over Tom! Oh, hi, Mark!

Long before you were on Facebook, there was a site that many of us had a space on that was just for us. It was appropriately named MySpace, and everyone quickly jumped on board to have one. In the spring of 2008, MySpace was the top social media site in the world. In April of that same year, Facebook grabbed the lead and never looked back. Over the next three years, Myspace would lose over forty million unique visitors per month, lose both of its co-founders, and lay off most of their staff.

How did this happen so fast?

First things first, it’s important to know why and how MySpace started. In 2003, MySpace was created by people in the entertainment industry, not by technology experts and therefore could not innovate at the pace that they needed to compete.  However, MySpace was greatly influential in the music industry. In late 2003, Fin Leavell encoded his music into a myspace profile, becoming the first MySpace musician. Shortly after MySpace was sold to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and 20th Century Fox, they launched a record label: MySpace Records. The record label was made to discover unknown talent on MySpace Music. Some well-known singers such as Lily Allen, Owl City, Hollywood Undead, Sean Kingston, and Arctic Monkeys rose to fame through myspace.

Although Rupert’s idea of incorporating a record label with MySpace was a smart business move, Rupert had an old school way of thought and is said to be a major contributor to the fall of MySpace. Critics claim that MySpace failed to execute the product development by not copying Facebook in design quickly after Facebook launched.

Facebook let third-party developers create apps on the site in 2007 while MySpace held tight to the notion that it would be able to create its own products. This strategy slowed down the process tremendously for MySpace to stay on top of the ever changing market. The former head of MySpace, Mike Jones, has stated that MySpace put up barriers to user enjoyment by forcing members to use anonymous pseudonyms in the place of their real identities, where Facebook encouraged members to use their real names.

Once Facebook took off, MySpace decided to give up on its social media leadership dreams and narrowed its focus to being a social entertainment destination. However, this has not been proven as a successful venture either. Many other websites have followed MySpace’s lead by creating music streaming sites such as Bandcamp which allows musicians to get paid for their music by allowing consumers to buy tracks or albums online.

When it comes to social media and website development, there are six lessons that we can learn from MySpace’s failure.

  • Authenticity is important 
    • The success of Facebook and the corresponding demise of MySpace is partially due to real names adding an aura of legitimacy while removing a layer of anonymous creepiness.

     

  • Standardization is better than free-range 
    • Facebook allows minimal customization regarding overall layout, look and feel. This feature has proven to be successful.

     

  • Mobile is critical
    • MySpace was slow to adopt mobile technology, and the lack of MySpace in your pocket is partly responsible for their decline.

     

  • Think beyond your website 
    • There has never been any significant effort to distribute MySpace broadly across the web by implementing it into other sites. Facebook has made it so that a user can use their Facebook login for a multitude of apps, making registering for new accounts incredibly simple and making Facebook almost a necessity.

     

  • Be business-friendly
    • MySpace has always been user-focused rather than business-focused and has rarely created features specifically for business.

     

  • Don’t sell too early
    •  MySpace made the biggest mistake by selling prematurely in 2006.

Facebook seems to have real staying power for the time being because of their highly adaptive nature and versatility and friendliness in the ever growing internet world. Here at Velocity, we pride ourselves in staying ahead of social media trends and implementing ingredients for success in our marketing strategies. We understand the importance of not only monitoring where social media platforms succeed but also where they fail. If you are in need of social media experts to take your brand to the next level, you know where to go!

Velocity News

RIP Google Reader

reader1

While it’s certainly not the first product Google has axed, the loss of the Reader service today has received more backlash than any previous cut from the tech giant’s team. For the past eight years, millions of loyal users have relied on Google Reader for their daily dose of internet news, all provided in one simple feed. As of midnight on July 1st, these fans will have to find a new RSS home for good.

So, if there were so many loyal fans, then why did Google put an end to Reader?

There are several clear reasons, and more will become apparent after the shutdown is complete and we get a better sense of what to expect for Google’s next move. What we know for sure is that the proliferation of social media platforms has been the biggest detractor from Reader’s user base. The decline can be traced back to 2006, the year which saw the rise of Twitter as well as the introduction of Facebook’s News Feed feature. Both immediately provided a syndicated, continuous feed bringing users personalized micro updates at speeds far faster than your standard online newspaper, and together they drew consumers away from the suddenly clunky and comparatively slow world of RSS.

Fast forward to 2013, and two of the tech world’s biggest stories are again focused around news feeds. Just as Google Reader lives out its final hours, we are hearing more and more about the impending launch of a new feature that will turn Facebook into an even more functional and powerful online newspaper. For now, those who are coping with the loss of Reader will have to find an alternative. Luckily, the fight to claim the empty throne of the RSS world is turning out well for consumers. With everyone from AOL to Digg vying for your usership, there’s no doubt that newly launched services will be stacked with attention-grabbing features.

If you’ve been a longtime Google Reader user, what service have you switched to? If you couldn’t care less about Google Reader’s departure, we want to know why.
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